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IHSA changing wrestling weight classes for 2011-12

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



The IHSA’s first overhaul of its wrestling weight classes in 23 years will hurt the little guys, according to Providence coach Keith Healy.

Following the lead of the National Federation of State High School Associations, whose wrestling rules committee recommended the changes in early April, the IHSA’s weight classes will skew heavier for 2011-12. Gone is the 103-pound class — the lightest champion will be crowned at 106 — and of the 14 classes, seven will occupy weights between 152 and 285 pounds, up from six under the old rules.

“I am disappointed because I want more wrestlers to be able to compete for college scholarships,” Healy, who coached the Celtics to six straight team state titles from 1997 to 2002, said. “You lose a spot for those guys to gain a spot where football players could be used.

“From my experience, the better wrestlers are in the middle weight classes, and we lose a spot there. I would have kept it the same. I always follow, ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ Kind of like when we went from two classes to three. I would not have done that.

“We have had some really good wrestlers in those middle weights through the years, guys like Karl Roessler, Brian Glynn and Nick Passalano. We’ll be spreading those guys out more. It will be interesting to see how that works out.”

The 14 weight classes approved by the national federation for 2011-12 are: 106 (pounds), 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285. Three middle weights — 145, 152 and 160 — were retained, although they are 7-8-9 in order now rather than 8-9-10. The largest weight class (285) remains unchanged.

“The change in weight classes resulted from a three- to four-year process utilizing data from the National Wrestling Coaches Association Optimal Performance Calculator,” said Dale Pleimann, chair of the rules committee, in a news release. “The rules committee was able to analyze data from almost 200,000 wrestlers across the country, with the goal to create weight classes that have approximately seven percent of the wrestlers in each weight class.

“Throughout the process, each state association was kept completely informed and was provided multiple opportunities for input.”

The previous wholesale shift in weight classes occurred in 1988, when the lowest weight class was increased from 98 to 103 pounds.



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